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Text Neck is used to describe a repetitive stress injury, caused by leaning forward for long periods of time while texting. Reading and texting while using a mobile phone are reported to be responsible for stress injuries.
Moving the head forward when using a mobile phone will directly affect the spine. If you tilt your head forward about 15 degrees, it is like placing a 27-pound weight on your neck. The weight goes up to 40 pounds for a 30-degree angle to 60 pounds for a 60-degree angle.
Symptoms include headaches, shoulder pain, and cervical pain. The damage that results from untreated text neck is comparable to repetitive stress injury or occupational overuse syndrome.
A stiff neck is a sign of text neck as patient will begin to experience stiffness and will have difficulty when turning the neck too soon after prolonged phone usage. Another symptom is neck pain in one spot or over a larger area.
Some patients experience radiating pain in the arms and shoulders, weakness in the muscles, reduced mobility, and headaches. Other less common symptoms are spinal degeneration, early-onset arthritis, loss of lung capacity, and disc compression.
Regarding text neck management, prevention is key. It is important to avoid excessive phone usage. Taking frequent breaks will help to rest the neck and back. It also helps to avoid prolonged immobility or static postures. Positioning the phone in a way that reduces stress will protect the neck and upper extremities. You should avoid holding a heavy or large device for long using one hand. Avoid excessive repetitions of motions like swiping and typing.
Chiropractic therapy is effective for the treatment of stress injury caused by text neck. The rehabilitation program involves soft tissue mobilization, joint mobilization, and stretching the tight muscles.
The first part of the program will involve active and passive muscle stretches before progressing to posture retraining, muscle strengthening, and exercise. In acute cases, the goal is pain relief that can be achieved through neck movements. Treatment can also involve chin tuck exercises, massage, and the use of ice or heat packs.
Extreme chronic pain can be treated using pain medication. The condition can also be managed using injections into the trigger point or facet joint. Acupuncture can also be used to treat text neck.
The forward head posture can cause the muscles to become imbalanced or deconditioned. This makes it difficult for the person to maintain proper posture. A chiropractor will treat the condition by making the required adjustments to restore neck, shoulder, and back alignment.
If you have been experiencing stiffness or neck pain, it is a good idea to visit a chiropractor for treatment. To know more about text neck, visit Back and Neck Pain Centers at our offices in Seattle, Bellevue, or Tukwila, Washington. You can also call (206) 233-0818, (206) 772-0088, (425) 649-9335, or (425) 243-1200 to book an appointment today.